What’s stronger than a girl with something to fight for? A movement of girls. On October 11, Day of the Girl, Girls Who Code is expanding their #MarchForSisterhood to countless more people by launching the first-ever all-digital global march.
The widespread event invites people wherever they are to share videos on their social media accounts of themselves marching for causes that matter to them. With all these clips together, Girls Who Code hopes to encourage the largest online march in history.
“There’s a problem we wanted to solve for, which is that young people too often feel unable to participate, to be counted, to be heard,” said Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, which aims to close the gender gap in technology. “There are 13-year-old girls from Kansas to Kenya watching these marches on the news who are desperate to add their voices, and for so many of them it’s not realistic to physically show up. A digital march is a chance for girls all across the globe to join together, march together, for each other, using just their phones. Beyond that, it’s a digital march because we are Girls Who Code: the core of what we do is empower girls to use technology to change the world.”
The #MarchForSisterhood is an event organized by Team Sisterhood, a diverse group of 100 young female activists and community leaders who are passionate about a wide range of issues — from climate change to diversity in tech. According to Saujani, Girls Who Code founded the Sisterhood campaign last year with the goal to “reach out to girls where they are, introduce them to girls who are like them, who care about what they care about, and build a powerful community of sisters who have each other’s backs, no matter what.” Refinery29 is proud to be the exclusive media partner of Girls Who Code for the #MarchForSisterhood, and to use our platform to amplify the voices of Team Sisterhood.
Among the many joining the march is Keiana Cavé, a 21-year-old entrepreneur and scientist whose passion lies in chemistry. After developing an oil spill dispersant in response to the devastating BP oil spill when she was only 15, she went on to found a company that is working to create a non-hormonal birth control pill. She’s participating in the march because she wants girls to know that they’re unstoppable. “I was raised in a household and an environment where people only encouraged me,” Cavé told Refinery29. “I didn't really experience any negativity, so that's what helped drive me to where I am today. For every goal you have in life, I want every girl to know that they should at least try.”
She also hopes that girls participating will feel inspired by the turnout. “I hope that other girls see how many women are out there, willing to support each other, and that if we form this big army of support for one another, then we're pretty much able to do anything that we put our minds to.”
Another young leader showing her support on Day of the Girl is Gabby Frost, 21-year-old founder of Buddy Project, a non-profit organization that aims to prevent suicide through promoting mental health awareness. She’s marching because, as she puts it, “everyone deserves equity, regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, or religion." She especially appreciates the #MarchForSisterhood’s intersectional approach, as it supports women of all backgrounds who are passionate about a range of causes including STEM.
“It's really important to have this unity that everyone comes together for all causes — even ones that they're maybe not as familiar with, because it's important to amplify voices of people working to make the world a better place, and a great way to build community,” said Frost. She believes it's time that young women are validated for their interests and work, as they're so often dismissed. “So often women get met with criticism and negativity because people say they’re too young to be doing the work they’re doing,” said Frost. “It’s important that their passions aren’t minimized, and they have people out there who believe in them.”
Video platform TikTok has also joined the movement as a partner. Beginning on October 4, TikTok users can participate in the #MarchForSisterhood challenge and show their support for Girls Who Code by creating and supporting videos on the platform.
With so many ways to join, Saujani hopes those who participate feel empowered and supported from all sides, and realize that often the issues they care about affect not only their immediate community, but others across the globe. “When you scroll through your feed on Day of the Girl, I want you to be bombarded with images and videos of people in your life marching for girls and the issues affecting them. We aren’t marching for one cause, or for Democrats or Republicans — we are marching for the girls around the world bringing change to their communities."